After being closed for over a year as a result of the pandemic, we felt really excited to be invited to visit Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum ahead of their reopening on May 29th. There are a few things that have changed since the doors were last open like the fact that the entrance has moved to the ground floor, and there is a one way system in place around the museum to help with social distancing but nothing that detracted from the overall experience.
Your favourite areas are still there to enjoy. The outdoor science garden is open and great for the summer with a new outdoor food kiosk, Platform 2, which has lots of tasty treats for anyone who would prefer to eat outside.
Thinktank's interactive mini city, Mini Brum, is also open as before with lots of hands-on activities for children to get stuck in to. They can try their hand at all the different jobs that it takes to run a city.
When we visited we took the opportunity to watch the new show in the 4K Planetarium. 'Destination Space: Space Ports' is all about the UK's role in space exploration. I had two 9 year old boys with me when I went and they really enjoyed the show and said that they found it interesting but I would say that children much younger than them would probably not enjoy it as much as it is less 'visual' than shows you may have seen in the past. The numbers able to watch each show are limited at the moment so you might want to bear your own child's interest levels in mind when you decide whether to book the timed ticket when you arrive.
As well as these familiar areas of the museum, a brand-new gallery has been added in the area that used to house the Kids City just inside the old entrance area. 'Our Changing Planet' is all about how humans have affected the world we live in and how climate change is one of the greatest challenges affecting the planet.
The vast majority of the interactive, hands-on elements of the exhibits were still there for the children to explore which was great to see. Some are not available for the moment where they are too difficult to keep clean but these were few enough that it didn't really affect our visit.
We took a little pit stop in the Signal Box cafe (which is table service only now) while we were there and made the obligatory visit to the revamped museum shop (who can avoid a gift shop with kids in tow?!).
There is so much to do at Thinktank that we had a rather flying visit as we went along after school for a couple of hours so we will definitely need to go back and explore everything a little bit more. We've always had a great time when we've visited and always seem to discover something new that we haven't really appreciated before - different areas have appealed to the children as they have grown but they always like to return to the old favourites like the Science Garden!
They are open Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 5pm (During May Half Term 7 days a week). If you become a member of Birmingham Museums you get 12 months free entry to Thinktank, plus some other amazing museums in Birmingham.
Local Mum of two boys and editor of Raring2go! in Solihull and South Warwickshire.